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The CMJS/SSRI Approach to Community Studies, April 1, 2015

Matt BoxerMatthew Boxer, PhD, is a research scientist at CMJS and SSRI and a principal investigator for our community studies. Below he discusses our unique approach to this research and the potential such studies represent.

CMJS/SSRI has become increasingly involved in Jewish community studies in recent years. Can you tell us a little about why these studies are important?

 Community studies have been one of the most important ways that the American Jewish community understands itself. CMJS/SSRI has long been involved in these studies and our new emphasis on this work is a way to bring modern methods to the study of Jewish life. Our goal is to understand the growth of communities and, most importantly, the needs, interests, and Jewish engagement of community members. We learn where the Jewish community is successfully providing services that meet members’ needs and where there are still gaps. Ultimately, our goal for these studies is to help the community strengthen itself where it is already strong and improve itself where there are challenges. Having high-quality data is essential to this effort.

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